Jobs await OFWs—in Iraq’s Kurd region

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Thousands of jobs await Filipino workers in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, where the economy is booming, a recruitment specialist said Sunday.

“Not only is Iraqi Kurdistan the most developed and relatively peaceful region in Iraq, it is also on its way to becoming an investment destination,” said  Emmanuel Geslani in a statement.

Geslani said local recruiters were hoping the total lifting of the deployment ban to Iraq would open jobs for Overseas Filipino Workers displaced by the Libyan conflict in the oil and gas sector in Kurdistan which needs engineers, technicians and other related professionals.

Geslani, a major advocate of the lifting of the deployment ban to Iraq and Afghanistan,  hoped Filipino diplomats headed by Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, who visited Baghdad and the Kurdish capital Erbil recently, would recommend that Filipinos be allowed to work in Iraq again.

Seguis met with Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, who heads the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Citing government and  industry estimates, Geslani said there were 5,000 to 7,000 undocumented OFWs in Kurdistan who were looking forward to the lifting of the deployment ban so they could go home and be legitimized by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration like the  OFWs working in US military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most OFWs in Kurdistan have been working there since 2005 in infrastructure projects, oil and the petroleum industry, telecoms, hotels and schools teaching English, Geslani said.

Despite isolated cases of bombings and terror attacks in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Geslani said  Kurdistan, administered by the democratically elected KRG, remains a magnet for Iraqis from the south looking to escape violence and for international companies wanting to enter Iraq.

Billions of dollars, he added, were being spent on infrastructure projects like new roads, dams, communications, electricity distribution, sewage and water facilities by the regional government funded by the oil industry.

Tourist spots are being developed in the cities of Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah where there are natural and cultural attractions.

Thousands of new jobs are opening up in the capital Erbil which local leaders plan to convert into a “New Dubai,” Geslani said, adding that the city has modern malls with stores of international brands including Levi’s, Timberland and Ecco, and indoor skating rinks.

“New hotel chains are sprouting international hotel operators, including Marriott and Moevenpick, are looking at opportunities to open hotels in Erbil, which would largely accommodate business travelers working on oil and gas and infrastructure projects in the region,” Geslani said.

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  • lucidlynx

    this is great news for our OFWs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKLLTT2Q767G5OGY3VZQRTZCGM Mark

    Are you an idiot. Great news for OFW’s? Iraq is still basically a war zone with little rule of law. When will Filipinos stop chasing the almighty dollar and realize that most of the people that are sent overseas as OFW’s are our uneducated and poor.  These people do not have the intelligence or knowledge necessary to defend themselves from abuse by their employers.
     
    The middle east is pack full of filipino carpenters, construction workers, maids, drivers, care takers, and other menial labor poisitons.  It is these people that suffer the most abuse.  While we do have doctors, nurses, accountants, dentists and other educated people deployed as OFW’s they are but a fraction of the toatl OFW work force. 
     
    Our country is ready to send our citizens into harms way i order to get the remittances so necessary to make up for all the money misspent and stolen by our own government.  Our citizens are ready to put themselves in harms way because they think they can eran enough mobey to take care of their families at home.  How ridiculous is that.  They will willingly enter a warzone because they believe that they can better provide for their families. 
     
    Wake up people.   Eductate our citizens, stimulate our economy, create opportunities at home.  Stop the corruption.  Let OFW’s add value to our country rather than add value to ther nations.  Lets get the pride back.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKLLTT2Q767G5OGY3VZQRTZCGM Mark

    Are you an idiot. Great news for OFW’s? Iraq is still basically a war zone with little rule of law. When will Filipinos stop chasing the almighty dollar and realize that most of the people that are sent overseas as OFW’s are our uneducated and poor.  These people do not have the intelligence or knowledge necessary to defend themselves from abuse by their employers.
     
    The middle east is pack full of filipino carpenters, construction workers, maids, drivers, care takers, and other menial labor poisitons.  It is these people that suffer the most abuse.  While we do have doctors, nurses, accountants, dentists and other educated people deployed as OFW’s they are but a fraction of the toatl OFW work force. 
     
    Our country is ready to send our citizens into harms way i order to get the remittances so necessary to make up for all the money misspent and stolen by our own government.  Our citizens are ready to put themselves in harms way because they think they can eran enough mobey to take care of their families at home.  How ridiculous is that.  They will willingly enter a warzone because they believe that they can better provide for their families. 
     
    Wake up people.   Eductate our citizens, stimulate our economy, create opportunities at home.  Stop the corruption.  Let OFW’s add value to our country rather than add value to ther nations.  Lets get the pride back.

    • Anonymous

      “people that are sent overseas as OFW’s are our uneducated and poor. 
      These people do not have the intelligence or knowledge necessary to
      defend themselves from abuse by their employers.”

      Mark,, I know you are an intelligent man, however,I beg to disagree with your categorization of the people that are sent (or want to work abroad)are poor and uneducated..please do not insult your own people.. I agree with your comment to stimulate the PH economy and create opportunities at home, but this can not be done overnight. So while the country is still in the process of stimulating the economy in order to create opportunities for people,, the PH government should give the Filipino people to work in Kurdistan which is much much safer place to work compared to any part of Iraq…

    • http://twitter.com/riccisan ricci santiago

      Mark – sa lahat ng tanga ikaw ang bobo.
      gumising ka sa realidad, walang kami makitang magandang trabaho sa Pinas na matino, di kami makaipon ng maayos. kung meron lang eh di na kami mag aabroad.

      Ano naman din pakialam mo sa buhay namin? di ka kasi nakaranas ng kagipitan eh. intindihin mo sarili mo.

      wake up kamo? matagal na kaming dilat sa gutom kaya kami nag O-OFW, tandaan mo yan!

    • shane oy

      bilang isang ofw naaawa ako sa iyo Mark napakaignorante mo. Pero toto hindi good news ang trabaho sa Iraq, pera na nman ang hanap ng agency na yan.
      Sa isang banda ang paglookdown mo sa aking mga kapwa ofw ay hindi katanggaptanggap. It shows kung gaano ka kaarogante. Kung ikaw papipiliin alin amg gusto mo: walang trabaho sa pinas o “menial” jobs sa ibang bansa? get real mark hindi lahat ng tao tulad ng pamilya mo at hindi lahat pareho sa perspective mo. At for one naniniwala ako n mapapabuti ang kalagayan ng buhay ko kung mag abroad ako. Bakit? Based sa experience ko sa trabaho dyan sa Pinas. Naging regular employee din ako dyan sa maayos na kumpanya pero ang kikitain ko dyan ay katiting ng kinikita ko rito. so sa tingin mo ridiculous ba ang desisyon ko na mag abroad? cge nga paliwanag mo.

  • Anonymous

    @Mark:disqus , your comment saddens me and millions of Overseas Filipino Worker around the Globe on the way you describe us OFW’s, you have simply implied and singled-out all of us and have almost stripped us of our dignity and pride. You sound intelligent enough… though I do that you also do understand the underlying circumstances why your fellow kababayan prefer to toil and tend to work on foreign lands. I do hope that you still can recall that it was us, the people you call uneducated and poor, us the people whom you call as unintelligent and dumb. That it was us, OFW’s and our hard-earned money who has helped you and your business, you and the government, you and your economy survive plenty if economic turmoil. Just like you, we dream of better future for our kids and families, wish our kids to grow wise and educated, not like us, as you describe as uneducated and poor… Hopefully, the next time you enjoy an imported drink or probably a bar of chocolate, you may realize why we are here, on these foreign lands.

    You say stimulate the country’s economy, how many years has the government been trying to do this? You tell me… I pride myself of the company that I have built and this alone was not done overnight, so much is a government that is full “Trapo” and “Buwaya”. I employ fellow Filipinos and respect them for their dreams and aspirations and they respect me for doing such. Can you tell me when have you ever felt the same from our government and politicians…

    Mabuhay ang  malayang Filipino!

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